End Notes

Wednesday June 27, 2007 @ 07:09 PM (UTC)

Once again, I hear people saying that we have reached the end of days. When I hear or read these words, I stare.

Do they not know that every two generations feels the grip of armageddon? That the Visigoths, the Vikings, the coming of Genghis Khan were all seen as clear signs of the end?

When you say to me that you “know we are in the end times,” you say nothing about the world. You tell me that you do not care to consider the sweep of human history. You tell me you are trapped in “the ghetto of the here and now.”* You have never imagined the fearful Roman potter listening to the sounds of battle, the despair of the monk whose brothers are slaughtered, the boy running to warn the village of the approaching horde. How can you lack the curiosity, the empathy to realize that this despair is the common lot of man? How can you not even have imagined the thoughts of a woman crouched in a bomb shelter, smelling the top of her baby’s head, hoping not to hear above the radio’s talk of Cuba the dim reverberations of the world’s end?

*In a craft talk, David Long described the world without reading as “the ghetto of the here and now.”


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